The market for electric vehicles has grown significantly in recent years, particularly in North America, Japan, and China, where government regulatory support and rebates encourage development to help decrease gasoline consumption and CO2 emissions. According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in June 2017, there are approximately 2 million electric vehicles in use worldwide today, and that number is estimated to reach between 40 million and 70 million by 2025. In China alone, the government anticipates that annual sales will reach 2 million by 2020.
Plastics suppliers are responding with innovative, cost-effective and lightweight products to meet the increasing demand for parts specifically designed for electric vehicles. For example, electric vehicles require cooling for their batteries — and plastics are the preferred materials for these systems. In addition, electric vehicle batteries are large and heavy. To reduce vehicle weight and positively impact the mileage a vehicle gets from a charge, manufacturers can evaluate metal to plastic conversion as an option for a number of parts in the vehicle.
Additional Advantages of Plastic for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers
- Lightweight, Yet Robust: Plastics can be used for many interior components such as cabin elements such as dashboard panels and parts under the hood including fans, pumps, and energy recovery devices. Battery cases can also be made of plastic, lessening the overall impact of battery weight.
- Stable in difficult applications: Todays thermoplastics are extremely robust and engineered to resist chemical attack, extreme hot and cold temperatures, flame retardant (FR) and UV light exposure. These new material attributes let your molder provide solutions for your difficult applications and testing.
- Cost: Last, but not least, plastic parts are less expensive than metal, which can help electric vehicle manufacturers control costs and maximize profits.
Make a Smart Plastic Supplier Choice
To truly benefit from manufacturing electric vehicles using plastic components, you need to partner with the right plastics supplier. Look for a plastic manufacturer with a long track record of successfully working with the automotive industry and that can demonstrate how their solutions played a role in not only optimizing the finished product but also provided a solution that made the production process for efficient and cost-effective.
The growth of the industry will likely impact your business and your operations. Be ready with access to the quality parts you need from a plastics supplier you can trust.